Infection Control for Dental Practices During the Pandemic

Infection Control for Dental Practices During the Pandemic

Posted by Dr. Shirley Zao on Jun 23 2020, 07:36 AM

COVID-19 has brought about a sense of fear and panic among the masses as it is spreading dangerously fast. We must follow the necessary precautions to ensure we do not put ourselves and our loved ones in danger. Despite the ongoing pandemic, we have taken extreme measures and precautions to keep our dental practice running on a limited basis to provide treatment to our patients.

How can dental practices exercise caution?

It is quite difficult to determine whether or not COVID-19 infects an individual by looking at them as they hardly show any physical signs. Getting near the patient can be dangerous as you could contract the virus as well. Here are a few precautions dental practices can take to ensure they do not put themselves or their patients at risk.

Telephonic screening: Before dental practices schedule an appointment for their patients, they should conduct a telephonic screening. During the call, you can ask the patient a series of questions related to their well being. Based on their response, they may be deemed fit and healthy for a face-to-face dental consultation. The questionnaire can also be shared over email or text so that the patient can fill it out at their comfort.

Online consultation: Online dental consultations are a great alternative to an in-house session. The dentist will set up a consultation over a secure line, which will take place through a telephonic call or a video call. Patients can share their oral concerns with the dentist, and a suitable treatment solution will be suggested. It can either be in the form of medication that the patient can pick up at their local pharmacy, an in-house consultation, or postponing the treatment for a future date.

Change in the waiting area: As opposed to a common waiting area where patients find it challenging to maintain social distancing, ask them to wait in their cars. They can let you know when they arrive, and you can let them in after the current patient departs. Make sure the consulting room is well sanitized before every patient enters.

In-house screening: Before the patient enters the dental practice, thermal screening is a must to check their body temperature. If they have a fever, it is best to advise them to get COVID-19 testing done.

Offer sanitization: Establish alcohol-based sanitizers at various prominent places in your dental practice. Both patients and staff can use it to get rid of the microbes from their hands as required.

In addition to these, enhance your regular sanitization protocol concerning the dental chairs, equipment, washrooms, etc.

Social distancing is perhaps the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from COVID-19. Stay indoors; stay safe!

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